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| St. Francis Xavier Day
The body of St. Francis Xavier lies in a silver casket in the Church of Born Jesus in Goa. Ceremonies to honour his death are performed on December 3, the day he was buried. There are many stalls selling trinkets and souvenirs in the fair that is held on the occasion. A wide variety of food and drinks are available. The atmosphere is happy and festive.
St. Xavier was a great Catholic missionary who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Asia. Born in Spain on April 7, 1506, he came to India with the Portuguese viceroy of Goa in 1543. He immediately undertook the task of influencing the Goan people. He translated the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Ave Maria with the help of Goan scholars. He died of fever on December 2, 1552. Every ten years on the anniversary of his death, his body is brought out and kept in a glass case, with the feet exposed, for all to see and worship. The saint is said to have had miraculous powers of healing. People from all over India flock to the church for a glimpse of the saint.